Japanese Cherry Blossom Margarita

Cocktail drink on white background

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  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Infusion: 48 hrs
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

People flock to catch a glimpse of Japanese cherry blossoms when in full bloom. When you mix up a batch of these Japanese cherry blossom margaritas, your friends will be just as anxious to enjoy a glass.

Fans of sake and cherry are going to love this flavor-filled margarita. But it also has a fun twist! The prickly pear tequila gives it an intriguing foundation that is a delightful surprise. It's a great contrast to the cherry syrup and complements the sake beautifully.

Though the Japanese cherry blossom is best served in a chilled glass on the rocks or straight up, you can blend it if you like. And, if the homemade infusion is a little more work than you'd like to do, there are options. You could even pour your favorite unflavored tequila for a cocktail that's equally tempting.

Ingredients

  • For the Prickly Pear-Infused Tequila:
  • 10 prickly pear fruits (peeled)
  • 1 (750 mL) bottle silver tequila
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 ounces prickly pear tequila
  • 2 ounces sake
  • 1/2 ounce cherry syrup
  • 1 ounce sour mix
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice (fresh)
  • Garnish: sugar (for rim)
  • Garnishes: cherry
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cocktail is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and assembly.

Make the Prickly Pear-Infused Tequila

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a wide-mouthed infusion jar, add the peeled prickly pear fruits. Fill the jar with tequila.

  3. Shake well and store in a cool, dark place for about 2 days. Test for flavor and infuse longer if needed, checking daily.

  4. Once the flavor has reached your desired intensity, strain out the fruits. Bottle the tequila, label it, and store like any other liquor.

Tip

You will need a large glass jar for the infusion. Choose one with a wide mouth and tight-sealing lid. A two-quart jar will leave more than enough space for the fruits and tequila.

Make the Japanese Cherry Blossom Margarita

  1. Rim a chilled margarita glass with sugar, using a lemon wedge to wet the rim.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the prickly pear tequila, sake, cherry syrup, sour mix, and lemon juice.

  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into the prepared glass.

  5. Garnish with a cherry and lemon twist.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Blend this cocktail with 1 cup of ice (about six average-sized cubes) to create a frozen margarita.
  • As an alternative to the tequila infusion, you can add the taste of prickly pear in a few different ways. One easy option is to muddle one fruit (cut up into easily mashable cubes) in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. Another is to pour about 1/2 ounce of either prickly pear juice or syrup (the syrup's easy to make). It's sometimes called "prickly pear cactus" or "desert pear."
  • Pour a cherry liqueur instead of syrup. It might even be easier to find. (Contrary to popular misconception, grenadine is supposed to pomegranate, not cherry, flavored.)

How Strong Is a Japanese Cherry Blossom Margarita?

This recipe is on the lighter side of shaken margaritas because it's filled with nonalcoholic mixers. Its alcohol content should fall in the 15 percent ABV (30 proof) range, making it similar to a glass of wine.

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